St Pat's close the gap at the top


Monaghan U 0 St Patrick's Athletic 4:ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC maintained their title quest with a convincing victory over outclassed Monaghan at Gortakeegan last night.

A Monaghan side looking for their first home win of the season were without star player Jordan Keegan, out through injury. However Monaghan’s recent unbeaten run of late came to an abrupt end.

Pats started the brighter and on 10 minutes Greg Bolger shot just wide with keeper Chris Bennion beaten. On 20 minutes former Monaghan player Darren Meenan came close twice in the space of two minutes for Pat’s.

However on 34 minutes Christy Fagan got on the blind side of the home defence and netted from close range from John Russell’s cross from the left to give the Saints a deserved lead. Greg Bolger almost doubled but Bennion denied him.

Bennion saved well from Bolger again on 43 minutes to leave the visitors deservedly ahead 1-0 at the interval. John Russell spurned the chance to make it 2-0 when he shot wide from close in on the stroke of the half-time whistle.

The second half began as the first had ended with Pat’s on the up and the home side on the back foot. On 58 minutes the home sides Conor McMahon from Christy Fagan as things began to look ominous for Monaghan.

In the later stages of a tepid second half Monaghan with all three substitutes used did try to force the issue in the hunt for an equaliser while the Saints always looked dangerous on the break.

On 83 minutes a superb goal from Jake Kelly sealed the points for the Saints. Kelly turned inside and curled a superb effort low to the net from 20 yards.

Just two minutes later Kelly again was the Pat’s hero rifling home from 20 again after a corner kick had been half cleared.

On 89 minutes, after a sloppy piece of defending, Greg Bolger got a fourth goal for St Pats, a goal he deserved as he had been an influential figure all night for the Dublin side. He gleefully accepted his chance to net from close range to complete the rout.

MONAGHAN UNITED: C Bennion, R Collins (B Ryan, 65 mins), C McMahon A Byrne, K Quinn, T Griffiths (C Murphy, 71 mins), O Humphrey ( M Isichei, 55 mins) D Raynor, W McDonagh, J Marks, P Whelan.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: B Clarke, G O’Brien J Carroll, C Kenna, G Bolger, D Meenan C Fagan (D Kelly, 78 mins), S O’Conner (J Kelly, 60 mins), I Bermingham, K Browne, J Russell.

Referee: N Doyle